Steve Jobs at MacWorld 2008 shows the iPhone capturing a U.S. smartphone market share of 19.5%, only trailing RIM, maker of the Blackberry. Apple's new corporate data plans aim to lure customers from RIM, closing this gap.  (Source: Engadget)
After making a splash in the consumer smart phone industry, Apple releases new business targeted plans for the iPhone

DailyTech recently covered the iPhone making inroads with the business community.  The phone draws many business users with its flexible and attractive interface which supports many useful business applications.  Despite email limitations, the fun factor of the phone converts many business users to iPhone aficionados.  While Apple still has a ways to go before being the next Blackberry in terms of business customer volume, it does surprisingly well in this sector.

Eager to cash in on this trend, AT&T today released a set of corporate data plans, designed to lure business users over to the iPhone.  The plans do not include voice, but are designed to supplement users' voice plans with competitive rates on data.

Users who currently have a voice plan, who adopt any of the plans, will get a $25/month credit.  This promotion only applies to activations which occurred before March 31, 2008.  The credit will last through December 31, 2008, so if you sign up for a plan in February, you can get credits for 11 months, for a grand total of $275, a sweet offer that is sure to please many.

Three basic data plans exist.  All included visual voicemail and unlimited domestic data (web and email).  The lowest level plan is $45/month and includes 200 SMS messages. The next up is $55/month and includes 1500 messages while the top plan is $65/month and includes unlimited messages.  Additional business aimed plans for data transfer are also available.  For $25/month, you can get 20 MB of data transfers a month, good in 29 countries.  For $60/month you get 50 MB of data transfers.

Knowledgeable sources at electronics giant IBM have more potential good news for business users; IBM is allegedly set to debut an iPhone version of business e-mail client Lotus Notes at the Lotusphere conference in Orlando this week.  The move is in conjunction with IBM's introduction of Lotus Symphony, a business leaning office suite, which will be released for OS X Leopard.

At Macworld 2008, Apple CEO Steve Jobs highlighted the iPhones success.  It has sold over 4 million units to date, or 20,000 phones a day, capturing by Apple's estimations approximately 20% of the U.S. smart phone market. 

"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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